A US Republican congressman accidentally turned the political world upside down when he appeared with his face flipped the wrong way during a video call for a House of Representatives committee hearing.
Days after a Texan lawyer presented in court with a kitten filter instead of his face, Minnesota representative Tom Emmer made his own unusual video call debut.
The congressman was speaking about job security during the House financial services committee meeting when the chairwoman Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, interjected.
“Will the gentleman suspend? I’m sorry … Mr Emmer? Are you OK?” she asked above the suppressed laughter from colleagues.
Another participant clarified: “You’re upside down, Tom.”
Emmer replied: “I don’t know how to fix that.”
Other lawmakers immediately compared the incident with the cat filter, with one commenting: “It’s like the cat,” while another said it was already “going viral”.
And as organisations struggle with a world turned upside by the pandemic, another attendee asked whether Emmer’s appearance might have been a statement: “Is this a metaphor?”
The issue was quickly resolved and Emmer appeared right side up, to the sounds of cheering from those in attendance.
“I appreciate your patience, Madam Chair,” Emmer said. “I don’t know what happened, it just came out this way. I turned it off and I turned it back on.”
Emmer recognised the comparisons with the Texan lawyer, Rod Ponton, having retweeted his video with a caption referencing Ponton’s now immortal words: “I am not a cat.”